Good News! Irrawaddy Dolphins Less Rare Than Thought in Bangladesh
photo: Wildlife Conservation Society
Every once in a while there's a bright light in the world of endangered species and animal conservation and this is one of those times. Though the fate of the world's dolphins and porpoises living in rivers and in brackish coastal waters is categorically dire—the baiji in the Yangtze River has been pushed to extinction by expanding human populations; the vaquita in the Gulf of California is critically endangered—the Irrawaddy dolphin in Bangladesh is doing much better than thought:A new survey, conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Chittagong University, of Irrawaddy dolphin populations living in the inlets of the Brahmaputra/Ganges/Meghna delta on the coast of Bangladesh shows that there are about 6,000 of the dolphins still alive.
Bangladesh satellite image courtesy WCS
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Irrawaddy dolphin as vulnerable (one step below endangered). This is one of those (rare) cases in which we simply didn't know that much about the animal population in the region, and it turned out to be better than expected.
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